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Maxtor OneTouch 4 & Barracuda FDE

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Seagate, the largest disk based storage manufacturer in the world, has announced several new hard drives that will be joining its already huge line-up over the next few months. There's a bit of everything for everyone with this lot but first up, let's start with everyone's favourite, external storage.

Nearly two years since Seagate bought out Maxtor, it is insisting on keeping the Maxtor brand name alive right across its range of products so last week a refresh of the Maxtor range of external storage devices was announced.

There will be three versions of the new OneTouch 4 range, the eponymous OneTouch 4 (above right), the OneTouch 4 Plus (above left), and finally the OneTouch 4 Mini. Both the 4 and the 4 Plus will be available in 250GB, 500GB and 750GB versions, based on Seagate's full size 3.5in hard drives, and will both come with backup software. Where the two differ is the Plus adds in support for full disk backup and recovery as well as data synchronisation, all with the help of Seagate's new SafetyDrill software.

The mini is based on a 2.5in notebook hard drive and like all the portable hard drives of this ilk, uses a single USB cable to power and pass data back and forth from the device. It will be available in 80GB, 120GB, and 160GB versions and also comes with rudimentary backup software.

All these drives should be immediately available, while the 1TB OneTouch 4 Plus will be arriving in October.

Moving onto the more professional level devices, a desktop version of Seagate's Full Disk Encryption (FDE) drives was also announced. Coming in capacities up to 1TB and with spindle speeds of 7,200rpm, the new Barracuda FDE hard drives will be available in the early part of next year.

Rather than relying on software based encryption, FDE uses on-disk hardware to encrypt every piece of data that it deals with, giving complete protection to the data stored on it. As the process is done in hardware, there is no performance loss and the operating system remains completely oblivious to what's happening - making it doubly secure. The user simply enters a password as the computer is booting and the disk does the rest. The only requirement is that the motherboard's BIOS can support the drive.

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